By Rizal Obanil
The resumption of operations of some public transportation under the general community quarantine (GCQ) should not be used as a reason for everyone to go out of their homes and wander.
DOTr Asst. Sec. Goddes Hope Libiran, in an interview by GMA-7 said: “Hindi ito para i-encourage lahat ng tao na magsilabas. Hindi ganon. Kasi nasa community quarantine pa tayo, mataas pa rin ang level ng threat.”
(Translation: This is not meant to encourage everyone to go out. It’s not like that. We’re still under community quarantine and the threat level is still high.)
Metro Manila has been placed under a general community quarantine (GCQ) starting today, June 1.
Under a GCQ, some public utility vehicles, mostly point-to-point (P2P) buses, have been allowed to operate.
Unfortunately for drivers of traditional jeepneys they are nowhere near from being recalled to operate, as government is looking at gradually introducing public transportation so as not to encourage many people to go out.
As a result, on the first day of the implementation of GCQ in Metro Manila, many workers had a hard time finding a ride.
Government is ensuring that the transition to the so-called “new normal” phase won’t be abrupt so as to cause a sudden spike in the number of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases, which experts have been warning about.
Libiran said that although it is the DOTr’s duty to ensure that there is enough transportation, they still have to consider the threat that COVID-19 poses.
She explained that the pandemic is a public health issue, which is more important than the issue of mass transportation.